If you’re a history buff, you might not know much particle physics. But the two fields share more in common than you’d think. X-rays from a high-energy lab have revealed ancient Greek medical texts that had been stripped and covered with religious writing.
The antimatter of science fiction vastly differs from the real-life antimatter of particle physics. The former powers spaceships or bombs, while the latter is just another particle that physicists study, one that happens to be the mirror image with the opposite charge of the more familiar particles.
It appears that the Universe is full of dark matter—around six times more of it than there is regular matter. It has obvious visible effects, like the way it bends light from distant galaxies. Despite dedicated searches, no signs of a dark matter particle explaining these effects have turned up.
Scientists have uncovered some preliminary evidence for a nuclear physics effect first predicted back in the 1970s. The physics universe you’re about to enter into in order to understand it is especially mind-bending.
You probably know that atoms contain neutrons. But there’s a strange, long-standing discrepancy plaguing one of the neutron’s most basic measurements—something that a pair of scientists think might have to do with dark matter, the mysterious substance that supposedly accounts more than five times the amount of mass in…
Even the people tasked with understanding the most fundamental pieces of our Universe run into surprises. And a surprise has popped up in the data of a decommissioned experiment at America’s largest atom smasher.
When it comes to understanding the universe, a crucial property of stuff, whatever that stuff might be, is its mass. The building blocks of our world, things like the elements or subatomic particles, have pretty consistent masses. One physics team continues to find a strange discrepancy in the masses of some basic…
The smallest pieces of the universe are governed by a beautiful and mind-blowing set of rules: the “Standard Model.” The Standard Model explains the behavior of all 17 discovered particles, and it continues to make predictions that have been proven accurate by the largest physics experiments in the world, including…
It’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and see what the coming year has in store for science. From powerful new rockets and asteroid-sampling spacecraft to groundbreaking particle physics, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2018.
A million Russian artillery shells helped scientists discover the Higgs boson. And all over the world, remnants of World War II weapons are built into the most mysterious experiments in physics.
In the mid-1990s, physicists needed tons of a metal strong enough to withstand the massive magnetic fields of the house-sized…
Imagine you are baking a cake. You use the same ingredients that you always use, and boom, cake. But now, imagine your surprise when you discover you can make the exact same cake—an identical cake—but with a whole new set of ingredients.
Science may be just a tool to help us understand our Universe. But we can all agree that one of its major perks is that it leads to the discovery of plenty of really cool, mind-boggling stuff.
Lightning is nuts. It’s a supercharged bolt of electricity extending from the sky to the ground that can kill people. But it can also produce nuclear reactions, according to new research.
If we’re ever going to truly understand how our Universe works, we’ll need to take lots of different measurements, but measuring can be one of science’s most difficult tasks. How, for example, do scientists measure an invisible thing that passes directly through solid matter without stopping? The inventions scientists…
A few months ago, physicists observed a new subatomic particle—essentially an awkwardly-named, crazy cousin of the proton. Its mere existence has energized teams of particle physicists to dream up new ways about how matter forms, arranges itself, and exists.
An international committee devoted to the future of particle accelerators has recommended that scientists halve the energy of the next big collider, according to a statement issued last week.
Physicists often build experiments looking for a specific something. Maybe that something consists of dark matter, new kinds of particles, or new ways that particles might interact with one another. Other physicists are trying to use these experiments’ old data in new ways, to look for something other than that …
Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek was optimistic back in 2012. After all, he’d just won a wager after scientists had just announced their Higgs boson discovery at the Large Hadron Collider particle physics experiment in Switzerland. He made another bet—but he’s doesn’t feel as confident today.
Our Sun is powered by a fundamental phenomenon whereby atoms combine to unleash tremendous amounts of energy. But atoms might not be the only things that participate in this explosive reaction.
Here’s the thing about quantum mechanics: it works on Earth, but how do we know that it works elsewhere—like in space? That requires testing it over and over again, building wild experiments that send particles all over the planet. After some new results, things still seem to check out.